Untouched Photograph of Passenger

His hair is brilliantined.

It is black and shiny

like patent leather.


He cannot be more than twenty:

his cheeks are full,

his face is smooth as a baby’s,

though one pockmark

above his right temple

about the size of a rice kernel

is detectable.

His mouth appears to be

curved over something almond shaped.

Perhaps, he is sucking on a sweet plum.


His suit is puckered

at the seams.

The shoulders are too narrow,

fitting badly;

probably stitched

in a lamplit tailor shop

hovering in a back alley.

But the necktie adds

the texture of rawsilk;

the added touch signifying


Cathy Song is an Asian-American poet. She was born and raised in Hawaii and is of Korean and Chinese descent. She has long been considered as a poet who represents the passive beauty of East Asian culture and recalls tribal memory. Her first poetry collection, Picture Bride, is frequently regarded as the work of personalizing the process of female assimilation into American society.